Three Grand Strand courses, led by Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, earned a spot on Golf Magazine’s prestigious “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” list. Caledonia was ranked No. 28, followed by the Dunes Club at No. 48, and the Love Course at Barefoot Resort at No. 86.
For Caledonia and the Dunes Club, the rankings completed a triple crown of sorts. Both courses are currently ranked among America’s 100 best by Golf Magazine, Golf Digest and Golfweek. The Love Course gives Barefoot three courses that are ranked among the nation’s 100 best (the Fazio and Dye layouts are on Golf Digest’s list).
Set on ground that once housed a thriving rice plantation, Caledonia was the late Mike Strantz’s first solo design and it launched him to architectural stardom. Carved amongst soaring Live Oak trees, Caledonia oozes Lowcountry charm, and the 18th hole, which plays over water and into a green that rests in shadow of the clubhouse, is one of the area’s most memorable.
The Dunes Club is Myrtle Beach’s most revered course. The Robert Trent Jones design, located just yards from the Atlantic Ocean, has hosted the Senior PGA Tour Championship, the U.S. Women’s Open and the finals of the PGA Tour’s Q-School, among many other events. The first nine holes take advantage of the layout’s (natural) rolling terrain, while water is a significant factor on the closing nine. The 11th, 12th and 13th holes at the Dunes Club are, arguably, Myrtle Beach’s best stretch.
The Love Course was Davis Love III first major, solo design project, and he did a marvelous job. Love, aided in part by faux ruins of an old plantation home, created a visually stunning layout with generous fairways and some of the area’s best greens. In 2005, Golf Digest ranked the Love Course as Myrtle Beach’s best.
The accolades for Myrtle Beach area layouts didn’t end with those courses. Golf Magazine ranked the best public courses in each state and six of South Carolina’s top 10 and 13 of its top 20 are located along the Grand Strand. Caledonia (No. 3), Dunes Club (No. 4) and the Love Course (No. 6) were followed by Tidewater (No. 7), Fazio Course at Barefoot (No. 8), True Blue (No. 10), TPC-Myrtle Beach (No. 11), Heathland at Legends Resort (No. 12), Heritage Club (No. 14), Dye Club at Barefoot (No. 16), Glen Dornoch (No. 18), Grande Dunes (No. 19) and King’s North (No. 20).
Grand Strand layouts on the North Carolina side of the state line were also recognized. Golf Magazine ranked four Grand Strand courses among North Carolina’s top 14. Leopard’s Chase (No. 7), Tiger’s Eye (No. 8), Rivers Edge (No. 11) and Oyster Bay (No. 14) earned a spot in the rankings.
The Carolinas are home to some of the nation’s most acclaimed layouts and 17 Myrtle Beach area